09/17/2017 1:12PM

Green Mask suffers career-ending injury during workout

Debra A. Roma
Green Mask wins the Troy Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 6.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Green Mask, a top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar this fall, suffered a fractured sesamoid in his left foreleg during a workout Sunday morning at Belmont Park. The injury will end his racing career.

Green Mask, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Brad Cox for owner Abdullah Saeed Almaddah, was sent Sunday afternoon by van to the New Bolton Center in Pennsylvania, where surgeons were to operate on him.

“I think he’ll be okay, he’s obviously done as a racehorse,” Cox said by phone from Kentucky. “He was probably our best shot at a Breeders’ Cup victory to this point, but it is what it is. The main thing is to give him a shot at survival. I think it’ll happen, from what the surgeons tell us.”

Green Mask had completed the first quarter of a half-mile work over the Belmont inner turf course when Dustin Dugas, the exercise rider and assistant trainer to Cox, pulled the horse up. Green Mask was equipped with a brace on his left foreleg and walked onto the equine ambulance and transported to Cox’s barn, where X-rays revealed the injury.

Green Mask was in raging form, coming off a win in the $250,000 Troy Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 6, when he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 111. Prior to that, he won the Grade 2 Highlander at Woodbine, where he earned a 110 Beyer.

Overall, Green Mask had a record of 8-8-3 from 27 starts with earnings of $1,064,761. In addition to the Troy and Highlander, Green Mask won the Grade 3 Turf Sprint at Churchill this year, the Bonapaw at Fair Grounds and the Paradise Creek at Belmont in 2014. In 2015, he finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. He finished fifth in that race last year.

Green Mask began his career in the barn of Wesley Ward, was transferred to Christophe Clement for three starts before going back to Ward. Green Mask made the last 14 starts of his career for Cox.